1965 Spirit of Detroit Regatta
Detroit River, Detroit MI, August 29, 1965

Thompsonís Skill Shows On Turn
1st Heat Key as Tahoe Wins
By George E. Van

bullet 1st Heat Key as Thompson Wins
bullet Spirit of Detroit Regatta [Boating News]

Chuck Thompson knew he had the ultimate winner when Tahoe Miss took her first heat in the Spirit of Detroit powerboat race yesterday.

Chuck wasnít alone.

Thousands who watched thought so, too. They saw Tahoe Miss challenge Notre Dame and then, inexorably, chop down Rex Manchesterís lead going into the final lap.

Twenty-five years of top-flight racing were behind Thompsonís final maneuver. It was like coming in for the kill as he deftly drove Tahoe Miss inside Notre Dame at the final buoy of the upper turn to win the heat by two boat lengths.

Time tells how close it was. Tahoe Miss averaged 106.508 miles an hour and Notre Dame 106.090.

Thompson still had some driving to do. But on this day he held off Ron Musson and Miss Bardahl when they met in the second round of the heats. Tahoe Miss won at 108.346.

Then he beat both Miss Bardahl and Notre Dame, the boats he had to keep behind him to win, in the championship final. Thompson roared to a 108.805 mph clocking taking this one to compile a perfect 1,200 points winning all three heats.

But those who saw him in that first heat knew this would happen. These included boys grown to men who had watched Thompson, 53, drive Miss Pepsi, last of the stepped-hull hydroplanes in the 1950s.

"I felt this was my day because the boat was going well ó I always had plenty of power left," he said, still dripping after being tossed into the river by his crew. He was spitting out oil and had lost two stop watches, but it didnít matter.

"Ev (Ev Adams, crew chief) and the gang did a great job of getting Tahoe ready. Thatís all I needed after the trouble Iíve had this year."

Trouble heís had.

Wednesday he burned a hole in the bottom of Tahoe Miss. This was fixed and he qualified the boat in rough waters Friday at 100 mph, the minimum.

He collapsed from gas fumes after the Gold Cup race in Seattle this month (Tahoe Miss was third). These came from the turbine double blower systemís exhaust blowing in his face off the deck.

When the exhaust was put under the hull it burned the hole. But is Thompson giving up this secret weapon? Heís not.

"It gives us about 300 more horsepower," he said. Weíll have it on the boat at Madison."

The unlimited race in the Governorís Cup next Sunday on the Ohio River at Madison, Ind., where he won in Ď64. That has been his only triumph in two years with Tahoe Miss.

A year ago Thompson lost the Gold Cup to Musson and Bardahl by one second.

Miss Bardahl took the first of seven heats yesterday with a 110.921 average. The Seattle boat had laps of 112.50 and 111.341 in this heat, which made her the fastest boat of the day.

In the first encounter with Tahoe Miss, Musson took a washing down at the first turn from Chuck Hickling, driving Miss Budweiser, of Tampa. But, he came on to take second behind Tahoe Miss.

Musson Up To 2nd

In the championship final, Musson chased the pace-setting Tahoe Miss, and passed Notre Dame on the first backstretch. On the final turn Notre Dame moved back into second place as Miss Bardahl limped into third with a sick motor.

Going into the final heat Tahoe Miss had 800 points, George Simonís Miss U.S. V and Miss Bardahl were tied for second with 700, Notre Dame had 600, Paul and Dick Gordonís Blue Chip 569 and Jerry Schoenithís Roostertail 525.

All six finalists finished.

Fred Alter won his first heat of the year with Blue Chip in 91.494 (1-B). Buddy Byers took heat 2-A with Miss Madison in 99.594 when he outlasted Jack Schaferís Such Crust, carefully handled by Muncey.

Such Crust blew a super charger while testing and missed the first heat.

Miss U.S. Sinking

Roy Duby, after taking second to Miss Bardahl with Miss U.S. V in the opening heat, won heat 2-C Ďat 107.484, leading Notre Dame all the way.

Miss U.S. lost a patch of aluminum alongside of her propeller shaft in this heat. There was no time to make a patch before the final.

Miss U.S. completed the course, taking fourth, but was sinking as she crossed the line. Pressure had stove a hole in the bare spot. She was brought under the crane at the pits be-fore she went under.

Miss U.S. spun out on the fourth lap of the first heat but Duby saved the boat as he took a soaking, made a complete turn and finished second to Miss Bardahl.

Miss Budweiser won the 15-mile race for the Horace E. Dodge Memorial Trophy (and a $700 cash prize) with Such Crust second and Miss Madison third.

Hereís How Boats Finished:







Tahoe Miss

Chuck Thompson

Bill Harrah

Reno, Nev.



Miss Bardahl

Ron Musson

Ole Bardahl




Notre Dame

Rex Manchester

Mrs. F. MacDonald




Miss U.S. V

Roy Duby

George Simon




Blue Chip

Fred Alter

Gordon Bros.





Jerry Schoenith

W. D. Gale Co.




Miss Madison

Buddy Byers

Madison, Ind.


$ 700


Savairís Probe

Red Loomis

Mike Wolfbauer


$ 575


Miss Budweiser

Chuck Hickling

Bernie Little


$ 575


Such Crust

Bill Muncey

Jack Schafer


$ 250


Miss Smirnoff

Bill Cantrell

W. D. Gale Co.


$ 125


Mariner Too

Warner Gardner

Jas. Herrington


$ 125


Savairís Mist

Walter Kade

Mike Wolfbauer


$ 125


*In addition to prize money winner receives a new Chevrolet.

Rundown by Heats

HEAT 1A ó 1. Miss Bardahl, 110.921 miles an hour; 2. Miss U.S. V, 101.886; 3. Savairís Mist, 99.815; Miss Madison, did not finish; Such Crust, did not start.

HEAT 1B ó 1. Blue Chip, 91.494; 2. Roostertail, 90.604; 3. Mariner Too, 83.333; 4. Savairís Probe, 81.522.

HEAT 1C ó 1. Tahoe Miss, 106.508; 2. Notre Dame, 106.090; 3. Miss Smirnoff, 79.763; 4. Miss Budweiser, 66.014.

HEAT 2A ó 1. Miss Madison, 99.594; 2. Such Crust, 97.808; 3. Roostertail, 93.717. Mariner Too and Savairís Mist, did not finish.

HEAT 2B ó 1. Tahoe Miss, 108.346; 2. Miss Bardahl, 103.408; 3. Miss Budweiser, 99.082; 4. Blue Chip, 96. 017

HEAT 2C ó 1, Miss U.S. V, 107.484; 2. Notre Dame, 104.166; 3. Savairís Probe, 74.792. Miss Smirnoff, did not start.

FINAL HEAT ó 1. Tahoe Miss, 108.805; 2. Notre Dame, 101.104; 3. Miss Bardahl 99.944; 4. Miss U.S. V, 95.558; 5. Blue Chip, 90.847; 6. Roostertail, 86.220.

bullet Horace E. Dodge Memorial [Detroit News]
bullet Horace E. Dodge Memorial [Boating News]

HORACE E. DODGE MEMORIAL RACE (15 miles) ó 1. Miss Budweiser, 100.000; 2. Such Crust, 97.649; 3, Miss Madison, 95.863; 4. Mariner Too, 90..604; 5. Savairís Probe. 82.949. Miss Smirnoff did not start.

(Reprinted from the Detroit News, August 30, 1965)

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